Gaming trade group says “gamergate” must stop

It’s unlikely that the campaign/cultural movement called Gamergate will quiet down now that the chief video game company trade group has said it has to stop.

What Gamergate is has been subject to much debate. My take — Gamergate is an unfocused rallying cry among many gamers. It takes issue with the video game media, feminist critics of the video game industry and so called “SJWs” (Social Justice Warriors), who supporters of Gamergate say are out to change gaming and who talk down to game enthusiasts.

But it has also been associated, fairly or not, with threats of violence against women gamers and critics of the gaming industry. This week, critic Anita Sarkeesian, who I wrote about in August, cancelled an appearance at Utah State University over threats she received. Two other women have reportedly gone into hiding after receiving threats.

Supporters of #Gamergate say the handful of people who have cited Gamergate to attack and threaten people have unfairly tarred the larger discussion. A counter movement, with the hashtag #StopGamerGate2014, has picked up steam this week, reports Kotaku. According to the Washington Post, the Entertainment Software Association said:

Threats of violence and harassment are wrong. They have to stop. There is no place in the video game community—or our society—for personal attacks and threats.

The back and forth, “hashtag this and hashtag that, that’s where the wars are held” as one video gamer described it in his YouTube critique of #StopGamergate2014, reminds me of the 1990s “political correctness” debate. It is likely to continue.

“It’s been the talk of video game professionals for the past two months,” gaming critic Evan Narcisse told CNN. “The culture wars that … hit other creative media (are) hitting video games now.”

Above: An image from the video game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

 

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